Battlestar Galactica: Transcripts: S01E04: Act of Contrition

Viper – Atmosphere
Starbuck’s Viper is free falling into some atmosphere.

Galactica – Some Materials’ Room
Apollo and Starbuck are rummaging around for what they need.
Apollo: Helmet.
Starbuck: (hands him one) You are so unprepared.
Apollo: Shut up.
Starbuck: You are the worst CAG in the history of C.A.G.S, actually.

Galactica – Hangars
Landing Officer: Raptor pilot, Lieutenant Dwight “Flat Top” Sanders entering hangar Deck 12-B. Deck hands, please report. Repeat: Deck hands, please report to 12-B.
Flat Top lands, exits his Raptor, and starts surveying it for damage. Other pilots approach.
Pilot: Way to go, Lieutenant!
Pilots: one thousand, yeah! one.. zero… zero… zero! (they start chanting) Raptor pilots flying high… Raptor pilots flying high…

Galactica – Some Materials’ Room
Apollo: Red paint incoming. (throws it to her) Brush.
Starbuck: Brush? (searches around, hands him one) Brush. Oh, you are the worst, the absolute worst.

Galactica – Hangars
Pilots: (chanting) Raptor pilots flying high… Raptor pilots flying high…

Tyrol: What the hell is this? Flat Top’s thousandth landing, nobody tells me? Now we look like idiots. Find a wagon!
Crew-woman: Yes, sir.
Tyrol: Somebody get me a wagon!

Galactica – Some Materials’ Room
Apollo: (painting red number on the helmet) One, zero, zero…
Adama: (enters) You’re not ready yet?
Apollo: Oh… (drops the red paint and Starbuck laughs hysterically)
Adama: Somebody’s gonna have to pick that up.
Apollo: (to Starbuck, who’s playfully throwing stuff at him) Stop it.
Adama: Let’s go, come on.
They leave with the celebratory helmet.

Galactica – Hangars
Tyrol: (re: a wagon) This one’s perfect, here, take this. Give me a hand.
Crewman: Where do you want this?
Tyrol: Put it wherever. You two, come here… take this wagon to the pilots.

Pilots: (chanting) Watch that Raptor light their ass…

Galactica – Hallway
Starbuck, Apollo and Adama walk together to the hangars.
So, the Commander ever tell you what happened on his thousandth landing?
Adama: I don’t remember telling you about what I did.
Starbuck: Uh-huh, yeah, whatever. (to Apollo) He’s landing on the Atlantia, and he’s been having this ongoing fight with the L.S.O. So, he decides he’s gonna really stick it to him good, right?
Adama: This has all been over-exaggerated…

Galactica – Hangars
Pilots: (chanting while spinning Flat Top around in the cart) Three little Cylons in the air… Three little Cylons in the air… Watch their metal burn and flare… Watch their metal…
Shot of a weapon cart where a com drone teeters.

Galactica – Hallway
Starbuck: So, he skids to a stop on the flight deck and the L.S.O. hears over the wire, there’s this big, loud, long, obnoxious- pfffft… (laughing)
Adama: I was young.
Starbuck: Oh, no, it was great, it was really funny.

Galactica – Hangars
Pilots: (chanting) Two little Cylons jump in the cave… two little Cylons jump in the cave… come on a-cars make their grave… Another shot of the weapon cart where the com drone teeters, about to fall off.

Galactica – Hallway
Starbuck: The L.S.O.’s freakin’ out. Your dad doesn’t care because he hates the guy and he figures he can get away with it anyway ’cause it’s his thousandth landing, “I can get away with anything today!”

Galactica – Hangars
Pilots: (chanting) Raptor pilots in the sun… Raptor pilots in the sun… Five little Cylons in the grass… Five little Cylons in the grass… Watch that Raptor light their ass… Watch that Raptor light their ass…
And finally the drone drops from the cart. The impact causes it to turn on, and it zooms across the landing bay toward the celebrating pilots.

Galactica – Hallway
Starbuck: Personally-
She’s interrupted by a huge explosion.
Geata: (on PA) Attention: Fire on the port hanger deck. Away the fire and rescue team.
Adama: Let’s go. (they run off)

Galactica – Hangars
The Master-at-Arms is inspecting the scene flanked by Tyrol.
Hadrian: Metal fatigue. Old equipment… worn strap fails, drops a million cubit drone to the deck, kills 13 pilots, lands 7 more in sickbay. It’s hard to hear this, I know, but we got lucky. If that had been a missile, instead of a com drone… it’d have taken out the side of the ship.
Tyrol: (shocked) Never had a death on my hangar deck. Accidents… never a death.

Galactica – Ready Room
Apollo talks in front of a more than half-empty room of pilots.
Services for the dead. Services will commence at 11:00 hours on the forward hangar deck. Midship’s hangar deck remains closed, for investigation and cleanup, until further notice. Uniforms for the services will be dress grays. I wish I knew what to say, words to make this better. Can anything make this better? I don’t know.
Adama appears at the door and, after assesing the situation, enters to take matters into his own hands.
Crashdown: Attention on deck!
Adama: As you were. (to Apollo) May I?
Apollo: Yes, sir.
Apollo stepsdown and Adama takes the podium.

Starbuck’s Flashback – Airfield on Caprica
Adama walks up to Starbuck.
Are you Lieutenant Thrace?

Galactica – Ready Room
Adama: Give me your eyes. (the pilots look up) I know this has been a hard day. There’s been plenty of them lately. I can guarantee you, there’ll be more to come. Remember your self-esteem, your self-respect and your self-worth. Hold strong to them because people are watching. You’re the guardians of the fleet. They need to know that they can count on you, even at a time like this.

Starbuck’s Flashback – Airfield in Caprica
Adama: Are you Lieutenant Thrace? I’m Commander Adama, I’m Zak’s father.
Starbuck: I know, sir. I’m sorry, sir, I was planning on coming to see you tomorrow before the funeral.
Adama: You don’t need to explain anything.

Galactica – Forward Hangar Deck
The funeral for the 13 dead pilots is being held.
Officer: Present… arms! Order…!
Elosha: Once again, we are charged with the solemn duty to return the bodies of our own to the universe from which the lords of Kobol brought them to us…

Starbuck’s Flashback – Cemetery in Caprica
Another funeral. This is Zak’s.
Chaplain: The burdens of this life are with us but a short time. For lieutenant Zak Adama, son of William and Caroline Adama, brother of Lee, the time was too short, but we take comfort in knowing his life was willingly given in service to all of us. We honor them for that. And thus, it falls upon us to repent our sins and with the help of the lords of Kobol, make our own lives worthy of that gift. And now, we commit his body to the ground from which we were all made.

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Galactica – Forward Hangar Deck
Elosha: Secure in the knowledge that we will be reunited with them, in a better world to come. So say we all.
All: So say we all.

Starbuck’s Flashback – Cemetery in Caprica
Officer: Present… arms! (salute gunfire, three times)

Galactica – Adama’s Quarters
Adama: …pilots we’ve known. I have to start training new pilots.
Starbuck: (chuckling) There it is. Ahem… I, um, kinda thought this was about that. Um, I don’t know if I’m the right person for this.
Adama: You know someone better?
Starbuck: No, no, but, um… there’s almost 50,000 people out there. Trying to tell me there’s not one flight instructor?
Adama: There’s two. Civilians, both. I need someone to teach combat tactics.
Starbuck: You know?, I don’t know if I’d be of any use to you. I wasn’t the most patient-
Adama: Let’s get down to it: this is about Zak. It was not your fault. You had nothing to do with what happened. It was an accident.
But Starbuck doesn’t seem to agree…

Starbuck’s Flashback – Hangars in Caprica
Starbuck: (approaches Apollo) Lee? Zak failed basic flight.
Apollo: What?
Starbuck: Or at least he should’ve, but he didn’t. Because I passed him. His technique was sloppy and he had no feel for flying, but I passed him because he and I… because I felt something and I let it get in the way of doing my job. And I couldn’t fail him.

Galactica – Adama’s Quarters
Adama: Zak passed basic flight. He was trained and ready to sit in that cockpit. What happened to him could’ve happened to any qualified pilot, and you know that’s true.
Starbuck: Right.
Adama: You did your job to the best of your ability, that’s all I can ask. I need new pilots and I want you to train them.
Starbuck: I can do that.
Adama: Just give ’em the attention and the professionalism that you gave my son, and they’ll be one hell of a squadron.

Galactica – Rec Room
Baltar and Starbuck play cards while Crashdown and Boomer and Gaeta watch.
Ten cubits says she takes him this time.
Boomer: You’re on.
Baltar: Thanks for the vote of confidence. Ten to stay.
Crashdwon: So, Gaeta, how are you and the doc here doin’ on your Cylon detector?
Gaeta: What Cylon detector?
Crashdown: Well, rumor has it that Cylons look like people and you guys are workin’ on a way to weed ’em out.
Boomer looks apprehensive.

Starbuck’s Flashback – Starbuck’s Quarters in Caprica
Starbuck & Zack had just made love.
Zak: I want you to tell me the truth about something.
Starbuck: You passed. By the skin of your teeth, but you passed.
Zak: I don’t want any special treatment. Not from my father… certainly not from you.

Galactica – Rec Room
Gaeta: If there were such a program, it would be classified and I wouldn’t be able to talk about it.
Baltar: Something smells horrible in here. Is that you, Crashdown?
Crashdown: (smells himself) Um, yeah, that’s me.
Baltar: (to a distracted Starbuck) Your card. Your card.

Starbuck’s Flashback – Starbuck’s Quarters in Caprica
Starbuck: Zak, I am a flight instructor. I am not going to send you to Vipers if I don’t think you’ve got the chops, okay?

Galactica – Rec Room
Baltar: Are you all right? Look, uh… maybe you’d like to take a break.
Starbuck: I’m outta here. (just stands and leaves)
Crashdown: Whoa, whoa, whoa, Starbuck… (but she’s already gone) Okay, she can’t do that.
Boomer: She can, and she did.

Cylon-occupied Caprica – 14th day
Caprica Boomer: This is it.
Helo: A restaurant.
Caprica Boomer: (checking her transciever thingy) We’re almost on top of the signal.
Helo: I don’t get it, how does a military-coded signal end up coming from in here?
Caprica Boomer: Let’s find out.
They start searching the place.
Helo: Nothing… is that thing working?
Caprica Boomer: I checked it three times. This thing says we’re right on top of it.
Helo: Of what?
Caprica Boomer: What…? Helo…
She’s gone down some steps and found a door. They open it and enter. It’s a fallout shelter. And no one’s there.
Helo: You’re frakking kidding me. (laughing) Food… medical supplies. Whoo! Hey, hey, wait a minute, the signal.
Caprica Boomer: Oh… (finds it) disaster beacon. It’s been set to go off if there was an attack.
Helo: Some poor slob goes to all the trouble of building a fallout shelter, stocks it, has a beacon, the whole plan. Then what? What happens to him?
Caprica Boomer: Let’s just call ourselves lucky and leave it at that.
Helo takes a food package, opens it, and offers the crackers inside to Boomer…
Caprica Boomer: Gahh…!
…and she bites.

Meanwhile, outside the restaurant, Caprica #6 touches the restaurant window, and runs her hand along it as she walks off.

Galactica – Sick Bay
Cottle: (approaches) Madam President.
Roslin: Could you close that curtain, please? (he does) Thank you.
Cottle: You are obviously an intelligent, well-educated young woman. Would you mind explaining to me why you waited five years in between breast exams?
Roslin: Yes, I would mind, it’s none of your business. (toning it down) Ahh. I was busy.
Cottle: And now here you are.
Roslin: Yes, here we are… (the doctor lights up a cigar) Would you mind?
Cottle: I do, actually. (doesn’t put it out) But your doctor back on Caprica was right. It’s too late to operate, the cancer’s too far advanced. All we can do now is try and shrink the tumor with gamma treatments and follow that up with I.V., C.I.S.-doloxan. Did he explain to you the side effects of doloxan?
Roslin: Hair loss, nausea, muscle degeneration I watched my mother endure two years of doloxan before she died. I would like to explore alternate treatments.
Cottle: Prayer?
Roslin: Witty. Have you ever heard of chamalla extract?
Cottle:Oh, gods, you’re one of those.
Roslin: What if it works?
Cottle:All the evidence on chamalla is anecdotal. It’s nothing but a bunch of loose talk and false hope.
Roslin: I take that as a “yes”.
Cottle: All right, I’ll, uh, I’ll put out a med request to the civilian fleet. Maybe there’s some other wide-eyed dreamer out there with a secret hoard of chamalla extract in their luggage. You can put your clothes back on now.
Rolsin: Thank you.
Cottle: And for what it’s worth, I would seriously consider prayer. (leaves)

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Galactica – Rec Room
Starbuck overviews her new recruits’ files.
Starbuck: Boonie jumpers, shuttle jockeys and a Fleet Academy washout. This is the best that you could come up with?
Apollo: Diamonds in the rough.
Starbuck: Yeah, right. They’re the most qualified pilots in the fleet. Great.

Galactica – Ready Room
Starbuck faces her eight new recruits. They are totally dispersed and oblivious to her.
Starbuck: Attention on deck. (the recruits don’t pay attention) That means “get on your feet”, nuggets! (now they get it) You are joining the Colonial Fleet, boys and girls, not some after school club. Seats. (they sit) Pilots call me “Starbuck”, you may refer to me as “God”. You have all flown before but you’re about to enter a whole new world, so pay attention. We don’t have any flight simulators onboard so we’re putting you in the cockpit… today. This is a Viper Mark-II. It’s as maneuverable as a jackrabbit and can flip end for end in .35 seconds. You have never flown anything remotely like it so don’t think that you have. Today we will be doing basic launch, approach and landing maneuvers. Anyone not paying attention is liable to end up as a puddle of something to be hosed out of the cockpit by the chief of the deck.
Costanza: (to another recruit) She’s laying it on a little thick.
Starbuck: (having overheard) Costanza, right?
Costanza: Uh, yes, God, sir.
Starbuck: Not any more. From now on, your name is “Hotdog”, and when God speaks, Hotdog, you listen. Maybe if you learned that at the academy you wouldn’t have washed out, tsk. Sit up.

Vipers – Space
The nuggets are already having their practicals.
Kelly: Viper-seven-niner one/Galactica you are cleared for approach. Speed one-seven-five, port bay, hands on approach checkers green, call the ball.
Kat: I have the ball.
Starbuck: Easy on the throttle, Kat. Are you listening to me? Don’t chase the lights, okay?
Kat: Roger, Starbuck.
Starbuck: Kat, don’t chase the lights! Set it by the numbers and correct with thrusters.
Kelly: Wave off, wave off!
Starbuck: Punch it, Kat!
Kat’s Viper lands awfully or…

Galactica – Ready Room
Starbuck: Worse than awful. Wretched beyond belief, actually. You call yourselves pilots? It’s gonna take the knuckle-draggers a week to pound your divots out of the flight deck.
Kat: With due respect, sir, that’s unfair.
Chuckles: Yes, sir, this was only our first day.
Starbuck: No. It’s your last. It’d be criminal to let any of you near a Viper again. So pack your gear, get the hell off my ship. You’re done.
And she’s off. The nuggets are dumbfounded.

Galactica – Rec Room
Apollo: What are you doing here, Kara? You can’t wash ’em out on their first day.
Starbuck: I just did.
Apollo: Look, I’ve got 40 Vipers and 21 pilots, that’s it. We are sitting ducks until we finish water ops. We can’t even maintain a cap. Gods forbid the Cylons show up.
Starbuck: Gods forbid. Let’s bring in the next group of candidates.
Apollo: The next group has never even been in a cockpit. They’re starting basic flight.
Starbuck: Well, then, they start basic flight because that group is done. It says so right there, (points at her report) maybe you should read it again.
Apollo: Lieutenant Thrace, this is not a request.
Starbuck: Well, Captain Adama, I am the flight instructor, sir. My word is scripture, sir. I will not, repeat, not pass another student who isn’t ready.
Apollo: So that’s what this is about. It’s not them, it’s Zak.
Starbuck: (in his face) Careful.
Apollo: Step back. (after a moment, she does)

Galactica – Adama’s Quarters
Adama: If Starbuck says they can’t cut it, they can’t cut it.
Apollo: She’s not giving them a chance, it’s day one.
Adama: She’s one of the finest pilots I’ve ever seen in my life. If one day in the cockpit is all she needs to know if they’re gonna hack it or not, she got that.
Apollo: I’m not arguing that, sir. I’m just saying I think she’s letting her personal feelings cloud her judgment.
Adama: Please, sit down, Captain. And what are those feelings?
Apollo: About Zak.
Adama: We’ve talked about Zak.
Apollo: (surprised) You- you did?
Adama: We talked about a lot of things. We’ve been aboard this ship for over two years, we know each other very well. When I asked her to be the instructor, I knew it was gonna release a lot of loose baggage. She acknowledged it. She’s a professional, she’ll do her job.
Apollo: Okay. I’m just saying that… you should talk to her. She’s walkin’ around with a lot of emotion. She almost decked me in the rec room.
Adama: (chuckles) Right.
Apollo: You wouldn’t smile if you were there.
Adama: I’ll talk to her.
Apollo: Thank you. Personally, I think she’s trying to work out her guilt over what she did for Zak. I think she’s trying to make up for it by beating up on these guys.
Adama: Guilt? Over what? What did she do for Zak?
Apollo: (surprised, again) I- I thought you just said-
Adama: What did she do?
Apollo: It’s not my place to say, and I’ve already said more than I should’ve. You’ll have to ask her, I’m sorry. (starts leaving)
Adama: Captain, just-
Apollo: Dad, you’ll have to ask her. (leaves)

Starbuck’s Flashback – Starbuck’s Quarters in Caprica
Zak: I don’t want any special treatment. Not from my father, and certainly not from you.
Starbuck: You passed. By the skin of your teeth, but you passed. Zak…

Galactica – Hallway?
Dualla: (on P.A.) Attention: pass the word to Lieutenant Thrace. Lieutenant Thrace, please report to the C.O.’s quarters.
Starbuck hears her calling…

Galactica – Adama’s Quarters
Starbuck’s at the entrance.
Adama: Yes, come in. Lee was just here before.
Starbuck: I knew it.
Adama: He thinks you washed out the nuggets without giving them a chance.
Starbuck: They didn’t cut it, that’s it.
Adama: He thought you were letting personal feelings cloud your judgment.
Starbuck: Really?
Adama: Your feelings about Zak.
Starbuck: It’s not the case.
Adama: Okay. He said something else. He said something that I would like to ask you directly. He said that you might have been feeling guilty about something that you did for Zak. What did you do for him?
Starbuck: I don’t know, you’d have to ask Lee.
Adama: I’m asking you.
Starbuck: Well, I don’t, um, I don’t really know what he was talking about, so…
Adama: Don’t fence with me, Kara. I love you like a daughter, I don’t deserve that.
Starbuck: (touched, she ’fesses up) Um… Zak… failed basic flight. He wasn’t a bad pilot, he just had no feel for flying. And, um, when it came to his final check ride he busted three of the test maneuvers and I should have flunked him, but I didn’t. The bottom line is that your son didn’t have the chops to fly a Viper… and it killed him.

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Starbuck’s Flashback – Airfield in Caprica
Adama and Starbuck walk together.
Adama: He told me that you’re an amazing instructor, and that he was involved with you and that it was serious. He asked me to come to his graduation at Flight School and watch him get his wings.
Starbuck: I know, I read the letter.
Adama: I see. Well, then, maybe you could tell me what he was hinting at. A surprise, about you.
Starbuck: We were going to, uh… you know what?, it’s not important. I don’t want that to, uh-
Adama: You were engaged, right?

Galactica – Adama’s Quarters
Adama: You did it because you were engaged.
Starbuck: (welling up) Because I made a mistake. Because I was- I was so in love with him and… and I let that get in the way of doing my job. And, um, he, um- he just wanted it so much and I- I didn’t want to be the one who crushed him. (in tears)
Adama: (cold) Reinstate the trainees to flight status.
Starbuck: I will, I, uh… but I just want you to understand that I-⁶
Adama: Do your job.
Starbuck: Yes, sir.
Adama: And walk out of this cabin while you still can.

Galactica – Pilot’s Lockers
The nuggets are packing their gear just as Starbuck told them to. But just then, God herself shows up…
Starbuck: Ahem… unpack your gear, you are all returned to flight status. We’re gonna try this again. Those of you who can be trained to safely fly the Viper Mark-II will pass. Those of you who cannot, will be cut. It is my job to figure out which is which without personal feelings either way. And I’m gonna do my job. Kat, Chuckles, Hotdog, you’re up first. Pre-flight briefing in 20 minutes. (leaves)
Kat: Yeah!
And all the nuggets rejoice and cheer.

Vipers – Space
Chuckles: Where the hell are you going, Hotdog? Stay on me.
Hotdog: Target acquired and destroyed.
Starbuck: Not bad, Hotdog, but you left your leader behind.
Kat: Looks like you’re having a bad day, Hotdog.
Starbuck: And the moral of this story is?
Kat: Never leave your leader.
Starbuck: Thank you, that is correct. You never wanna be out here alone. Okay, Chuckles, take Kat’s wing. Hotdog, you’re on me. We’re gonna try a little maneuver called “The Thorch Weave”…

Galactica – Command
Tigh: (to Adama) I’ll be damned. What’s got into Starbuck? She actually sounds like a real instructor for a change. She may actually make Viper pilots out of some of those nuggets after all.
Adama is silent.

Vipers – Space
Starbuck: Holy frak, we’ve got incoming! Where the hell did they come from?

Galactica – Command
Gaeta: Dradis, multiple contacts… it’s the Cylons.
Tigh: Why didn’t we see them coming?
Adama: Launch the Alert fighters.
Tigh: Attention: Set condition one throughout the fleet.

Vipers – Space
Starbuck: Galactica, we’re gonna need you to send the cavalry. Nuggets, punch it for home.

Galactica – Command
Tigh: Where’s the base ship?
Gaeta: Uh, no base ships detected, sir. Eight Raiders, bearing 0-4-7, carom 1-1-8, range 22,000.
Tigh: They found us. It was only a matter of time.

Vipers – Space
Starbuck: Galactica, Starbuck… where the hell are the Alert fighters?
Viper Pilot: Starbuck, Alert one. Be there in two minutes.

Galactica – Command
Gaeta: The Cylons are gaining…

Vipers – Space
Starbuck: All right, listen up, nuggets: stay together and keep your throttles firewalled until you hit that deck. Now go.
And in a neat maneuver, she turns her Viper around.

Galactica – Command
Adama: What is she doing?
Tigh: Starbuck’s gonna take on all eight… and get herself killed.

Vipers – Space
Hotdog follows suit and goes to back up Starbuck.
Kat: Hey, Hotdog, where are you going?
Starbuck: Hotdog, what are you doing?
Hotdog: (firing on the Cylon Raiders) Whoa, I got one!
Starbuck: Hotdog, get out of here! Hotdog, I thought I told you to get your ass home.
Hotdog: You said never to leave your leader.
Starbuck: And I also said never disobey an order.
Hotdog: I’m hit!
Starbuck: I got you, Hotdog. We’re gonna make it through this. Break right, now, now, now!

Galactica – Command
Adama: She’ll make it.

Vipers – Space
Hotdog: Ugh! I just lost all three mains.
Starbuck: It’s all right, Hotdog, you did good. You’re gonna be okay, I promise you. At least one of us will. That about does it, I think there’s only one left. Frak… he’s right on my tail but I got it covered-
Starbuck nails the Raiders, but it collides against her Viper, and they both start falling onto some moon.

Galactica – Command
Dualla: Starbuck’s wireless and transponder just cut out.
Viper Pilot: (on comms) Alert one, we spotted Hotdog. No I.D. or visual on Starbuck.

Viper – Atmosphere
Starbuck’s Viper is still free falling, but she finally manages to pull on a handle and eject herself. And she begins her own parachute descent down to the surface.
Aah! Oh, frak me…

To Be Continued.

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